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By Childs Walker | childs.walker@baltsun.com | February 19, 2010
A high-ranking administrator at the University of Maryland, Baltimore received $410,000 in "questionable compensation payments" between 2007 and 2009, according to a state audit released Thursday. The payments, made in addition to the employee's salary, were not disclosed in budget reports to the General Assembly. The routine legislative audit also alleges that the university failed to submit the employee's contract for approval by the attorney general's office or for review by the university system's Board of Regents, as required by university guidelines.
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NEWS
By Robert B. Reich | October 8, 2014
According to a new federal database put online last week, pharmaceutical companies and device makers paid doctors some $380 million in speaking and consulting fees over a five-month period in 2013. Some doctors received over $500,000 each, and some got millions of dollars in royalties from products they helped develop. Doctors claim these payments have no effect on what they prescribe. But why would drug companies shell out all of this money if it didn't provide them a healthy return on their investment?
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NEWS
By Paul West | paul.west@baltsun.com | February 20, 2010
Former Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele's personal political accounts were billed at least $188,000 by Washington law firms during his first year as chairman of the Republican National Committee, according to state and federal disclosure reports. Steele used state campaign funds to pay the law firms, but the specific purpose for most of the expenditures wasn't disclosed, in apparent violation of Maryland reporting guidelines. Some of the costs appear to involve activity that predated his tenure as Republican national chairman.
NEWS
October 7, 2014
It actually doesn't do much good to head up an article about payments to doctors by telling readers that a doctor invented a great new device and the company sent him a check for royalties ( "Payments to doctors from drug companies, device makers revealed," Oct. 4). What would have been helpful is if your reporter had focused on whether the payments were justified instead of solely on the number of dollars. What's news is when device companies send kickbacks to doctors who didn't invent a device but merely used it rather than one from a competing company.
HEALTH
By Meredith Cohn, The Baltimore Sun | December 7, 2011
The state may have erroneously paid up to $2.5 million on health care through the Medicaid program for more than 300 low-income residents after they died, according to a state legislative audit released Wednesday. The payments were discovered after auditors checked the names of Medicaid recipients from January 2008 through August of this year against Social Security records to capture those who died out of state. The program had relied on state vital statistics to track deaths. Auditors couldn't say how many payments were fraudulent or even illegitimate — some medical bills could have been sent after a patient's death.
NEWS
By Annie Linskey | annie.linskey@baltsun.com | February 12, 2010
An influential state senator who has been the subject of a federal corruption probe used campaign contributions to pay $41,500 in apparent criminal defense legal fees over the past year, despite a 2008 Maryland attorney general's advice letter that bars such spending. Sen. Ulysses Currie, a Prince George's County Democrat who heads the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee, declined to answer questions about the payments to a prominent criminal defense attorney recorded on his annual campaign finance report.
NEWS
February 22, 2010
Your article "Ex-dean of UMB law is audit target" (Feb. 20) about an audit that labeled payments to former law school dean Karen Rothenberg as "questionable" is an unfortunate example of the adage "no good deed goes unpunished ." The University of Maryland, Baltimore is being criticized for payments that secured great value and were clearly in its best interests. I have some first-hand knowledge about this matter and cannot be silent while others are unfairly criticized. Karen Rothenberg became dean of the University of Maryland School of Law in 2000.
NEWS
February 25, 2010
I find it amazing Larry Gibson, a member of the University of Maryland School of Law faculty, would approve of a payment of $410,000, made in a nefarious ways. Mr. Gibson, as a lawyer, is an officer of the court. How can he support Karen Rothenburg's $350,000 sabbatical payment when she didn't submit a plan or present a summation of that sabbatical as required within 15 days of her return? Another $60,000 paid to her is suspect. In 2008 the law school paid out $22.8 million in bonuses and other stipends.
NEWS
February 26, 2010
I have to admire Martin Schreiber II for speaking out against the $410,000 payment to Karen Rothenberg, the former dean of the University of Maryland School of Law ("UM dean profited while students paid higher tuition," Readers respond, Feb. 23). Our grandson will graduate from the University of Richmond this spring and intends to attend law school. It is because of these outrageous payments to Ms. Rothenberg and others like her that students (as well as their parents) will be strapped for life paying off their student loans.
NEWS
By Mary Gail Hare and Baltimore Sun reporter | November 20, 2009
Harford County residents will be able to view their local taxes and pay fees online through a new government Web site starting today. The site will enable residents to see their current-year property tax, property assessment, Bay Restoration Fund fee, and water and sewer charges. The service will also allow property owners to pay taxes and charges electronically to the county. Other features of the new site include a breakdown of property tax data that shows the amounts attributed to the county and state, as well as highway taxes and any homestead or homeowner credits that have been applied.
HEALTH
By Meredith Cohn and The Baltimore Sun | October 4, 2014
Late last year, medical device maker Zimmer Holdings Inc. made two large payments to Dr. Andrew N. Pollak, chair of the University of Maryland Medical System's orthopedics department. The payments, one for $47,225 and the other for $45,902, were royalties paid to Pollak for work he did at Maryland Shock Trauma Center starting seven years ago in helping develop a clamp known as a fixator that could hold trauma patient's broken bones straight until they were ready for surgical repair.
NEWS
August 5, 2014
Letter writer Mark Campbell recently referred to improper Earned Income Tax Credit payments as "fraud" ( "Want to expand the EITC? Cut fraud first," July 30). While there's no arguing that the number of such payments is alarmingly high, most are made in genuine error rather than as a result of deliberate fraud. The EITC phases in and out at varying income levels, and also varies depending on marital status and number of children as well. That can cause confusion about who is eligible and how big a credit they can claim.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater and The Baltimore Sun | July 14, 2014
Nearly a year after the last race car whizzed down Baltimore's streets, the Grand Prix Indycar race is still costing the city money.  On Wednesday, city officials are set to authorize a $485,000 payment to P. Flanigan & Sons Inc. for road work done in 2011 and 2012 for the Baltimore Grand Prix.  The company's road work ended up being more expensive than anticipated, but city transporation officials didn't immediately bring the increased costs...
NEWS
By John Fritze, The Baltimore Sun | July 14, 2014
The mishandling of thousands of documents at the Baltimore office of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs delayed payments in excess of $25,000 to some veterans, according to new details made public Monday by the department's inspector general. Agency auditors reported widespread problems with records management in Baltimore in a three-page memo released in advance of a congressional hearing Monday evening. In one incident, they said, an employee was seen last month carrying veterans' claims folders in suitcases back to the office from her home.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | June 9, 2014
Energy company Dominion said Monday that it formally accepted Maryland regulators' conditions for their approval of a power plant the company needs to export liquefied natural gas from its Southern Maryland complex. Maryland's Public Service Commission said Dominion could build the 130-megawatt generating facility only if the company contributed $48 million toward funds set up for clean energy efforts, energy efficiency and low-income utility bill assistance. Regulators said the project otherwise would provide no net economic benefit to Marylanders.
NEWS
By Alison Knezevich, The Baltimore Sun | June 2, 2014
A nearly $1.7 million payment from Baltimore County to the police union to resolve a battle over retiree health care costs included about $228,000 in interest accrued while the county fought court rulings in the case. The county wrote a check last week to the Baltimore County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 4 to reimburse more than 400 retirees who the state's highest court determined were overcharged for health insurance premiums. The dispute began seven years ago, eventually reaching the Maryland Court of Appeals in 2012.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | December 12, 2013
A Columbia mobile web software firm said Thursday that it will accept payments in Bitcoin - the digital currency that shot up in value this year - and will give a 5 percent discount to customers who use it. Bitcoin is highly volatile, but most of the movement has been up. It was trading at a value of nearly $900 U.S. dollars apiece late Thursday. Fiddlefly CEO James Ramsey said in a statement that Bitcoin is a way around the "hassle" of paying online in foreign currencies or dealing with credit cards.
NEWS
By Peter Hermann, The Baltimore Sun | January 30, 2012
Maryland officials said on Friday that they had seized $400,000 in overdue child support payments from one parent, the largest such collection state history. "I hope that this collection sends a clear message to non-custodial parents that Maryland is committed to collecting the support that is due to our children," said a statement from Ted Dallas, the secretary of the Department of Human Resources. The agency is charged with collecting child-support payments and has investigators with the Child Support Enforcement Administration.
HEALTH
By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun | May 23, 2014
A $37 million settlement between the former owner of St. Joseph Medical Center and hundreds of patients of cardiologist Mark G. Midei who allege they received unnecessary heart stent procedures was approved by a Baltimore City Circuit Court judge on Friday. Baltimore Circuit Judge Sylvester B. Cox had given preliminary approval to the settlement last month, which provides as many as 273 patients to get payments of at least $134,000 before lawyers' and other fees, and ends class-action suits in both Baltimore and federal courts.
NEWS
By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | May 4, 2014
Quarters? How quaint. When paying city parking meters, Baltimore drivers may soon be able to rely on smartphones. Just as in cities such as Washington and Tel Aviv, Paris and San Francisco, Baltimore is looking to develop an app for that. The Parking Authority is soliciting bids from technology companies interested in providing a mobile phone application drivers can use to pay at thousands of parking meters across the city. The quasi-governmental agency has requested bid proposals from companies by mid-May for a three-year contract.
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